This month’s book was NurtureShock: New Thinking About Children.
I’ve heard so much buzz about this book over the last two years, and I think it lived up to the hype. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t life-changing, and a lot of the research presented wasn’t new to me (I touched on a lot of it in college <–education major, holla!), but I appreciated the expansion and the connections made to different studies. It reminded me a lot of Freakonomics. In fact, the hubby and I decided to read this together, and by together, I mean book-on-wife.
Each chapter brings up a common parenting practice, i.e. praising children, developing their language, or talking about race relations. Most parents have a commonly held belief about the best way to build self-esteem, enrich vocabulary, or reduce bias; however, research does not support these methods: you can praise kids too much, Baby Einstein videos are detrimental, and teenagers like to fight with their parents.
A lot of the research was common sense…after you read it–it makes you think, “yes, yes, of course!” But it takes seeing it print to make the intended impact. This isn’t a “parenting strategies” book, but rather a critical thinking book.
I would definitely recommend this as a top read for parents, and it’s a really nice read to discuss with a spouse (especially one who loves statistics).
Hop on over to AlphaMom to join the discussion on various topics from the book.